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AI4EP
07-21-2005, 03:08 AM
Ok, now we are up to your personal experiences with an H F rig..........did it drift on recieve...did it drift on transmit...was it lousy construction....did it mess up more local tv sets than any one elses rig......did you drop it on your foot and break a bone ?

Did I ask if it ever SHOCKED you ?

So tell us all about the very worst HF rig you have ever owned...and...do you still have it sitting in a closet waiting to be used again ?

KF4LNE
07-21-2005, 03:20 AM
Does a Cobra 29 count?

AI4EP
07-21-2005, 03:34 AM
...mebbe I should have said "hf amateur rig ".....oh well. http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

KM5FL
07-21-2005, 04:13 AM
Quote[/b] (ai4ep @ July 20 2005,22:34)]...mebbe I should have said #"hf amateur rig ".....oh well. # # # # #http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif
Ok... Siltronix 1011.. http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif


KM5FL

AI4EP
07-21-2005, 05:01 AM
I was told those rigs would drift a bit until being ON for a good hour or two....

AG3Y
07-21-2005, 05:12 AM
Oh, you don't know what "drift" is until you try using a Hallicrafters HQ-110C receiver! You want to know what the clock was for ? It was a genuine Telechron alarm clock with the alarm switch hooked up to turn on the rig some time before you came into the shack. The idea was that most of the drifting would be stopped if the radio warmed up long enough before you actually started using it ! Didn't work that way ! ! ! http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
My Novice station drifted so badly, that I had to tune in the station I was talking with each time I turned it back to him ! I could never be sure which was drifting the most, my receiver or my transmitter, but looking back over the years, I'm sure it was the receiver !

Ah Memories ! ! ! 73, Jim

W8ZNX
07-21-2005, 10:44 AM
Quote[/b] (AG3Y @ July 20 2005,22:12)]Oh, you don't know what "drift" is until you try using a Hallicrafters HQ-110C receiver!
gee wiz Jim
would be news to Bill Halligan
to know that he put out any
receivers starting with HQ

worst hf lash up
depends on where
one started

high end
best of the best
lash up in 1923

was garbage by 1932

many clasic receivers considered junk today
were high end
very expensive receivers

spend some time using
a pre war HRO, RME 69, Hammerlund Super Pro
or high end
not cheep Hallcrafters receiver

see photos of
30's ham shacks
if you see a HRO, RME or Super Pro
know op had lots and lots
of extra cash
when most ops had no extra cash

when you see W9DXX Alice Bourke's
station 1936
you can bet she was rich
not just well off

most ops today could
not even make one contact using these
receivers
even some high end receivers from 40's es 50's
new age ops
would be like babe lost in the woods

but most op in 30's
could not even aford these receivers
were using 2 or 3 tube home brew regen set
with self control ( where the hell am I with in 200 kc )
hartley or tnt transmiter using pair of audio 45 tubes

kid op sneak down stairs late night
pull the 45 from home receiver
put real fire to the plates

son how come the receiver keeps
needing new tubes

there is no worst hf rig

worst hf rig
is no hf rig
real op
can make contacts with almost anything

dit dit
Mac

KD8ALY
07-21-2005, 11:46 AM
Quote[/b] ]worst hf rig
is no hf rig

You said it brother.

I have an hf rig
it gets on the air
and I make contacts
and I am happy.

W0LC
07-21-2005, 11:57 AM
Mine was the Ten Tec Jupiter. I bought it from Ten Tec direct and when I got it, it acted flakey. Constant calls to their service department "try this, try that", nothing.

I sent it back and they found it had been wired incorrectly. Some quality control!

When I got it back, I played with it and kept wondering "where's the pre-amp button" because it was deaf above 14 mHz.

After playing with it about 2 weeks or so, I sent it back for a full refund. I found it to be one of the more insensitive receivers, lacked a great deal of common or standard features many other radios had, ergonomics was lacking (up/down buttons, etc.). The display only showed band noise unless a signal was S-5 or greater. that was useless. It had no tuner, no digital voice recorder or option for one, etc.

I was thoroughly disappointed. After reading about a great many QC problems with the Omin-V, V+, etc., I now understand my issues better.

Glad I got my money back !

KA4DPO
07-21-2005, 12:48 PM
My worst HF rig was a Swan 270. It drifted like a homeless person. I once left it on for 48 hrs before a contest and it drifted worse. It was truly a POS.

W7KKK
07-21-2005, 01:06 PM
Swan 350, without a doubt.
I bought it in the 1970s.

PY1LL
07-21-2005, 02:07 PM
Really the frequency drift is not the worst of a rig. It may be easily corrected using very simple (and tiny) circuits adaptable to all free oscillator rigs.
One example is the 'huff and puff' circuit from a dutch ham, I don't know why not very used as a solution for that problem, as it seems to have been used by Rhode & Scwartz in some lab equipment. It can be found on some old editions of the english "Radio Communications".
I designed and used a project of mine on many radios with good success. It was rather complicated, but very efficient.
With this types of circuit, you simply turn on your rig and operate it (if it is a radio with tubes, you wait only for them to heat) and the frequency is 'glued' to the chosen one.
Problems like intermodulation, image rejection and 'birds' created by inner spurious generation for receivers and poor linearity for transmitters are the worst in my opinion.
Modern synthesized radios using PLL's, normally generate many spurious inband signals. Try to disconnect the antenna from your (modern) rig and tune (on CW/SSB, not AM) any band. You will hear dozens of weak birds per band!
Another source of these spurious signals are the (very modern) switched power supplies used in some radios. For weak signal all these birds are very annoying!

PY1LL - Luiz

KC0W
07-21-2005, 03:07 PM
MFJ 9020.........Drifting, drifting, drifting!!!


Tom kcw

KL7AJ
07-21-2005, 03:35 PM
A little bit of drift on the old boat anchors was NOTHING near as obnoxious as the intermod/phase noise problems on some more modern rigs. Without a doubt the WORST rig in the world I've ever used was a Kenwood TS940. Any strong CW signal would cause internally generated key clicks over the entire band. And this was supposedly a "contest quality" rig. What a total piece of crap that thing was. Give me an SX100 ANY day! (I now use a Ten Tec Jupiter....I've always loved Ten Tec's front end performance.

eric

WA4BRL
07-21-2005, 03:49 PM
I have to echo what Mac said. My worst rig was the BC-348 receiver I started out on as a Novice. It was very old and worn, I was very young and green. Still, as Mac pointed out, I made contacts. Plus the AM-width passband forced me to develop my "grey matter filter", which made using it (and every other rig) that much nicer an experience. I thank goodness for having had that BC-348 as my worst rig!

K9STH
07-21-2005, 04:50 PM
3Y:

Hallicrafters did NOT make the HQ series. They were manufactured by Hammarlund. Most HQ receivers were very drifty, especially above 14 MHz. The exception to this was the series that began with the HQ-120X, then HQ-129X, HQ-140X, HQ-150X, and finally the HQ-145. Basically the design was the same with tubes going from the large pin to the octal to the minature (7-pin and 9-pin). Finally, the HQ-145 had the "new" style cabinet. Those receivers, after about a 30-minute warmup, were pretty darn stable. The rest of the Hammarlund line (including the Super Pros) tended to be very drifty.

The "worst" transceiver that I ever owned was a Swan 240, the "worst" receiver that I ever owned were actually two Hammarlund SP-600-JX17 (had them at the same time), and the "worst" transmitter that I have ever owned (still own because it is a "collector's item") is the Conar 400 ("chirp city").

Glen, K9STH

KL7AJ
07-21-2005, 05:03 PM
Quote[/b] (K9STH @ July 21 2005,09:50)]3Y:

Hallicrafters did NOT make the HQ series. #They were manufactured by Hammarlund. #Most HQ receivers were very drifty, especially above 14 MHz. #The exception to this was the series that began with the HQ-120X, then HQ-129X, HQ-140X, HQ-150X, and finally the HQ-145. #Basically the design was the same with tubes going from the large pin to the octal to the minature (7-pin and 9-pin). #Finally, the HQ-145 had the "new" style cabinet. #Those receivers, after about a 30-minute warmup, were pretty darn stable. #The rest of the Hammarlund line (including the Super Pros) tended to be very drifty.

The "worst" transceiver that I ever owned was a Swan 240, the "worst" receiver that I ever owned were actually two Hammarlund SP-600-JX17 (had them at the same time), and the "worst" transmitter that I have ever owned (still own because it is a "collector's item") is the Conar 400 ("chirp city").

Glen, K9STH
But you had to admit, the 600J's sure had a nice flywheel! http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

eric

K3UD
07-21-2005, 05:41 PM
he worst I ever had was an Eico 753, or as they used to call it, the 7 drifty 3.

this was a rather inexpensive SSB/CW transceiver kit marketed in the mid 60s. It would have been pretty decent if it did not have the drift problem. Sometimes my 753 would drift as much as 2 - 4 KHz during a QSO AFTER it had been warmed up and on fro several hours. Initial drift was quite a bit more than this. I once had a QSO with another ham who was using a 753 for mobile operation. We were chasing each other around the band http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

I ended up giving it away to a new ham who had just got his General Class license and had no way to get on SSB. He put it to good use and kept it for a while until he purchased built a Heath HW-100 (or 101). I think he gave away the Eico to yet another ham. One Man's junk......

I think there were several fixes for the drift problem, but I did not know about any of them at the time.

I also had a Swan 350 and it was the Rock Of Gibralter when compared to the 753, as was the NCX-3 that always got a bad rap concerning drift.

73
George
K3UD

W7DJM
07-21-2005, 08:02 PM
When I was stationed at (Top Gun) Miramar, I once tried to operate HF mobile with a bandspanner and an SBE-33. Now, THERE was a piece of ilk!!!!!!

Drift!!!?!?!??!!!!!!!!!http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif??

Swan 350 owners don't know what DRIFT is!!!!!

(Well, Swan 240 owners can stay on board.)


Never had an Eico "seven-drifty-three" but I've certainly had second hand experience. Odd how the catalogue authors can always make junk sound SO GOOD!!!

You really can't condem some of the older rigs unless you compare them to whatever else was there at the time---comparing a WWII BC-348, for example, so something even into the late '50's isn't even fair, especially since some of the older rigs could have developed problems

Individual tubes can cause drift and instability, as well as failed circuit componets.


My first receiver as a novice was a Heathkit AR-3.

NOW THAT DRIFTED!!!!!

K9STH
07-21-2005, 08:24 PM
DJM:

"My first receiver as a novice was a Heathkit AR-3.

NOW THAT DRIFTED!!!!!"

And the AR-3 was substantially better than the Hallicrafters S-38 series! Fortunately, no one told us how bad our receivers were back in the 1950s into the 1960s. We were "fat, dumb, and happy" and made thousands of QSOs with equipment that today most amateur radio operators wouldn't even give the status of junk.

Glen, K9STH

W8ZNX
07-21-2005, 09:41 PM
Quote[/b] (W7WV @ July 21 2005,06:06)]Swan 350, without a doubt.
I bought it in the 1970s.
Hello gang

First store bought new rig
was a Swan 350
was the best dam rig #
had ever used

350 sold like hot cakes
know of a local dealer
got shipment of 40 Swan 350's
on thursday morn
all sold by sat afternoon

most disappointment
in receiver was
Super Pro SP-600 JX
all the years of lusting after one

(for ham use the SP-210X was better receiver)

heck using it on cw
beat note would change as you turned
the rf gain up and down

but truly the worst receiver ever used
was a 30's style two tube audodine

every thing would make it move
hand capacity, any slight line voltage change,
even antenna moving in the wind
strong signal 300 kc away would
take over radio

make it even more wonderfull
ham friend 1/2 mile away could hear
it radiate

but man alive
winter night 80 cw
almost empty band
the dam thing was as sensitive
as any other radio iv ever used

better not move your hand
tune with left hand
send with right hand
don't move
makes for short qso

yours truly
Mac
so many radios so little time

K6BBC
07-21-2005, 09:46 PM
I loved them all:

DX 60
Ranger 1
Mosley CM-1
Swan 240
FTDX 560
TS 520
TS 140
TS 50
IC 706
FT 817

all of them!

WA2ZDY
07-21-2005, 10:26 PM
I'd have to say my Swan Cygnet 300 was better than average for Swan, but it was still junk. I had a Trio (aka Kenwood, but mine was labelled "Trio") TS511S that was pretty crummy. My NCX3 was one of the better rigs I've had of that genre. REAL junk? A Halliscratcher FPM300. Maybe it was a good rig on SSB, but on CW it was USELESS. My first receiver, an SX140 was no prize, but as Glen often says, "we didn't know how bad they were, so we used them just fine anyway." So true.


My HQ120 I loved. I wish I had it back. Maybe someday I'll have another.

WA4BRL
07-21-2005, 11:46 PM
Quote[/b] ]worst I ever had was an Eico 753, or as they used to call it, the 7 drifty 3.

I borrowed a 753 for a while and then bought one when I had to give it back. #Funny, but I didn't even consider it for mention on this thread. To me, it was a GREAT rig. Yeah, it drifted a bit, but so what? #It got me on SSB when I earned my General ticket. #I'd have probably peed myself if I had gotten to operate a Swan, 350 or 240 or otherwise! #

I considered the 753 to be a good portable rig, too. #It was easy to transport it out to the country to my girlfriend's house. #I'd throw a dipole into the trees and operate off of a plank sitting on cinderblocks in the back yard (plugged in to their house current, of course). #Mind you, this was just to pass the time until she got off of work and came home. #I never knew whether she'd be working when I started out for her folk's place. #Between the mike and the straight key, her brothers thought I was one wierd city boy. #But what did they know? #I was having a ball!

Another big AMEN regarding Glen's point: we just didn't know how bad our rigs were! #We were too busy having fun to notice. # http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

K9STH
07-22-2005, 01:17 AM
BRL:

The BC348 was definitely a "notch above" most of the "Novice Class" receivers of the 1950s and 1960s. Unless something had gone wrong in them they were very stable after about a 15 minute warm up. The selectivity was broad, but so were most of the rest of the receivers in those days.

The "crystal filter" was better than the one in the Hallicrafters SX-99 but definitely was not the best.

I have had a BC-348 for quite some time. But, except for the fact that the basic coverage stops at 18 MHz (doesn't cover 15 meters or higher frequency bands), I would have "loved" to have had one back in 1959 when I was a Novice. The BC348 would run "circles" around my Hallicrafters S-107 that I used when I was first licensed (have 2 of them now to "re-create" my Novice Class station).

Glen, K9STH

KA4DPO
07-22-2005, 01:34 AM
My first real receiver and the one I used as a Novice was a National NC-173. It was a really good receiver even though it was broad banded by todays standards. If you could get the crystal phasing adjusted right you could copy weak CW signals without any trouble. It drifted a bit but so did almost everyone elses rigs back then. The only bullet proof rigs in 1965 were collins or Drake and I couldn't even dream of affording that stuff back then.

GM3ZMA
07-22-2005, 04:11 PM
My worst rig was a Trio (Kenwood) TS120V. The problem was receiver overload.
On 40m in the evening or 20m in the afternoon, you just could not copy anything on it, you just got a band full of intermod. And what was worse, turning down the RF gain control did not improve matters.
A nice compact 10w HF rig but the RX section was rubbish.

Jim GM3ZMA

K4KYV
07-23-2005, 03:27 AM
I used a pre WW2 HRO until I acquired a 75A4 in the early 80's. The HRO was superb on 160 thru 20, but sucked on 10. There was no bandspread for 15, since we didn't have a 15m band when the receiver was made. It was my main station receiver until I got the 75A4, which has better selectivity with the mechanical filters, the dial calibration is better and the stability is much better. Still, the 1935 HRO beat most of the 1945-1970 era receivers that most hams could afford.

If I ever find a better receiver than the 75A4, I'll put my 'A4 on the shelf next to the HRO. So far I haven't found that receiver.

As for the worst rigs, any of the old tube rigs that used PC boards would qualify: The Tempo one (AKA the "piss po' one" and the old FTDX Yaesu rigs, as well as the Heathkits of the same era. The constant heat/cool cycle with the tubes eventually causes hairline breaks in the circuit board traces and the things become noisy and intermittent, and they are almost impossible to find. PC boards are great for solid state, but just not compatible with hollow state.

You could also thow in the mid-'60s "sideband for the masses" rigs such as Swans and Galaxies. It always amazed me that so many longtime hams threw nice, well constructed homebrew and commercial AM/CW rigs into the landfill, to replace them with those pieces of crap.

WA4BRL
07-23-2005, 04:19 AM
Quote[/b] ]The BC348 was definitely a "notch above" most of the "Novice Class" receivers of the 1950s and 1960s.

STH: The one I used was well worn by 1971 when I borrowed it to get on the air. This one was really wanting for sensitivity and selectivity. But you're dead on about its stability. Save for the stability, the Knight Kit R100A I got to replace the BC-348 was a big improvement, which illustrates just how poorly the old girl had aged.

K9STH
07-23-2005, 05:15 PM
If a Knight R100A had better sensitivity and selectivity than your BC-348 then the BC-348 had definitely "not aged well"! There are several .01 and .1 mfd capacitors in the BC-348 that are problematic, especially those manufactured by certain companies. I would suspect that bad capacitors were the problem.

I acquired a Knight R100A along with a T-150A a while back (although I had owned a pair of T-150 series transmitters before then). I went completely through both units and completely restored them to at least original specifications (if not better), repainted the cabinets, etc. They still were in the lower tier of equipment (the Hallicrafters S-107 is a better receiver than the R100A even if it doesn't have a calibrated bandspread dial). There was a "collector" of Knight equipment who bought the units and he is perfectly happy with their performance.

However, like I pointed out previously, most of the receivers that Novice Class operators used in the 1950s and well into the 1960s were really lousey. However, we didn't know that and made thousands of contacts and just plain had fun.

Glen, K9STH

K5UOS
07-23-2005, 06:11 PM
The worst transceiver I ever owned was a Heathkit HW-5400. It was one of the last kit rigs by Heath. It has (I still have it) the worst dynamic range of any receiver I have ever used. It blocks from signal 50KHz away. Each band is full of birdies located in some of the worst places on the bands. I was told by Heath that this was as good as it was going to get after a cordial exchange of letters. Nice as they were they bit off more than they could chew with this rig. I got so disgusted I never bought another kit or commercial rig again and built everything else since. Now, my worst homebrew rig(s) are a different stories I won't bore you with. Suffice to say it has been a long and drifty road then to now. If only I knew then what I know now.

PS and off topic. I have been following the QRZ code no code threads for a long time. Heated sometimes but I had some fun reading the exchanges. Some of you guys are very clever. I remember one debate I started years ago in an editorial after which I received responses just short of death threats. I simply stated that kit building was not homebrew and that in homebrew QRP contests a kit should not be considered a homebrew rig. I reasoned that all the assembly employees of Kenwood, ICOM, etc certainly must be considered the most prolific builders in history. I learned to keep my opinions to myself after that.

Don K5UOS
Located in steamy Oklahoma

AI4EP
07-23-2005, 06:33 PM
UOS...glad you are still around...very few folks who make a post CHANGE their opinion based on what some one ELSE says...that is part of what makes us individuals. Be proud of you.

If any one was going to be chased down and shot, it is ME. I have gotten a bit rowdy with a few myself but dont remember who they are or their callsign or problably even the topic.
All of our information is available through the callsign database, but aint no one going to drive 40 miles or fly across the country to whop another amateur radio operator.

Welcome back Don.

ai4ep

KI4LZK
07-23-2005, 06:56 PM
Quote[/b] (k4kyv @ July 22 2005,20:27)]I used a pre WW2 HRO until I acquired a 75A4 in the early 80's. #The HRO was superb on 160 thru 20, but sucked on 10. #There was no bandspread for 15, since we didn't have a 15m band when the receiver was made. #It was my main station receiver until I got the 75A4, which has better selectivity with the mechanical filters, the dial calibration is better and the stability is much better. #Still, the 1935 HRO beat most of the 1945-1970 era receivers that most hams could afford.

If I ever find a better receiver than the 75A4, I'll put my 'A4 on the shelf next to the HRO. #So far I haven't found that receiver.

As for the worst rigs, any of the old tube rigs that used PC boards would qualify: #The Tempo one (AKA the "piss po' one" and the old FTDX Yaesu rigs, as well as the Heathkits of the same era. #The constant heat/cool cycle with the tubes eventually causes hairline breaks in the circuit board traces and the things become noisy and intermittent, and they are almost impossible to find. #PC boards are great for solid state, but just not compatible with hollow state.

You could also thow in the mid-'60s "sideband for the masses" rigs such as Swans and Galaxies. #It always amazed me that so many longtime hams threw nice, well constructed homebrew and commercial AM/CW rigs into the landfill, to replace them with those pieces of crap.
I would have to agree and disagree with you about the Yaesu FT DX series, at least the one I had (FTDX560). It was my first and Only HF Transceiver so I really don't have anything, I have operated a whole lot on to campare it with. I thought it received pretty well. I hooked it up to my two meter ground plane antenna and received signals from all over the world. If the rig hadn't been on for at least an hour it would drift like a log in the water. But I loved it! Now I am looking for another HF rig and hope it is as good as the FTDX560. BTW the 560 was how many watts it put out on SSB and CW

73

Josh WX4CKV

AB8TM
07-24-2005, 07:11 AM
I had a 440 that looked like it made a couple of trips through CB land and it was just a mess...It seemed like they actually were trying to screw it up! that one really upset me.

WA9CWX
07-24-2005, 06:16 PM
Loved them all, at the TIME I HAD them.
Learned to appreciate quality as the years progressed.
First time I became AWARE of a serious problem was with the NCX-3. The final tuning cap would TOUCH the screen on the top of the case near the end of rotation.....Had 2 of em, both did the same.
Recently purchased a nice condition S53A, my first low band receiver (for CW, not SWL activity). re-tuned it. I could NOT believe how bad it was....BROAD, easy to overload, unstable.......could not really use it today....but...LOVED it for over 2 years when I first got my General!!
Probably WORST to use was my first SWL receiver, an Aliied Ocean Hopper. But....AGAIN...LOVED it, used it every night, still have the SWL log of all the stations I heard ( or THOUHGHT I heard).
I enjoyed the 1/4" bandspread across the 40 meter band, the ability to fine tune a station by just moving my hand close to the antenna peaking control, the alerting function that would let me know another strong signal had come on the band, even when it was 250 KC away. The volume control that would NEVER cause me ear damage, the AC line cabinet that could potentially cause me MORE than ear damage, and finally the REGENERATION control. This control ALONE would set the stage for learning how to carefully tune and tweek receivers in the future.
Didn't know any better, and glad I didn't! http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

K0RGR
07-24-2005, 11:04 PM
Well, I used an Eico 753 mobile for a few years, and that would have been the winner, except that I owned an ICOM 725. Bow-wow-wow - that thing howled in the night. The receiver had no dynamic range whatsoever with the noise blanker engaged. Turning on both the 20 dB attenuator and the receiver pre-amp at the same time helped somewhat. Extensive modifications could make it try to perform like a decent receiver, but you needed to be a microsurgeon to do the mods. That thing did not hang around very long.

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